Mario Kart replaces basketball as Cordova’s top sport

Daily tournament helps housebound residents keep in touch

Nine-year-old Everleigh Mills batters her opponents with Koopa shells during a game of Mario Kart. (March 23, 2020) Photo courtesy of Bree Mills

There are few sports that lend themselves to being played at a distance of 6 feet. Even tennis requires players to handle a ball that may have been touched by an opponent.

That’s where the Cordova Mario Kart Tournament comes in. Organized by computer repair service owner Bryan Mills, the tournament runs daily at 6:30 p.m. The event is accessible to any Cordovan with a Nintendo Switch console, using the code 1982-0695-3003.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a kid-friendly game with a shallow learning curve, has proven a good way to help residents unwind together, Mills said. Players are also able to voice chat using the Nintendo Switch Online App.

“It’s a fun little diversion that’s easy for anyone to pick up and play,” Mills said. “Mario Kart is really good for simultaneously entertaining people of various ages and skill levels… And it’s been around since I was a kid. There’s a lot of nostalgia involved.”

Since the tournament commenced March 14, it has usually drawn between eight and 12 participants each evening. The game has proven a good social outlet for Mills’s daughter Everleigh, an exuberant and outgoing third grader who’s found it difficult to be separated from her friends. But, even if Everleigh can’t see her friends face-to-face, she’s still able to thrash them with Koopa shells and other in-game weapons.

“I take a lot of chances, especially with the Koopa shells!” Everleigh said. “If someone’s in front of me — Phwomp! Phwomp! Phwomp! I send all three of them at the same person, and sometimes I’ll hit that person three times, and sometimes I won’t even hit anything.”

The Cordova Times will publish a leaderboard of Cordova Mario Kart Tournament winners in print for the duration of the event.